Implementing Caring Campus With Nonacademic Staff

Although there is ample research on the role of faculty in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus environment, little attention has been paid to the contributions nonacademic staff can make to this effort. Personnel in student service divisions like financial aid, enrollment management, advising, counseling, and the registrar are instrumental in helping students navigate college.

In particular, students from historically underrepresented groups in higher education—including Black, Latino or Hispanic, Native American, and first-generation students—benefit from positive interactions with college personnel that affirm their connectedness, importance, and belonging.

This report from the Community College Research Center discusses the work several colleges that have improved a program designed and administered by the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC) to engage nonacademic staff in improving interactions with students and help foster a “culture of caring” at community colleges.